Fodor's Expert Review Lake Powell

Lake Powell Park (National/State/Provincial)
Free
Lake Powell, Utah

With a shoreline longer than America's Pacific coast, Lake Powell is the heart of the huge 1.25-millon-acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Created by the Glen Canyon Dam—a 710-foot wall of concrete in the Colorado River—Lake Powell took 17 years to fill. The second-largest man-made lake in the nation, it extends through terrain so rugged that it was the last major area of the country to be mapped. Red cliffs ring the lake and twist off into 96 major canyons and countless inlets with huge, red-sandstone buttes randomly jutting from the sapphire waters.

The most popular thing to do at Lake Powell is to rent a houseboat and chug leisurely across the lake, exploring coves and inlets. You'll have plenty of company, though, since more than 2 million people visit the lake each year. Fast motorboats, Jet Skis, and sailboats all share the lake. Unless you love crowds and parties, it's best to avoid visiting during Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends. It's also important to check... READ MORE

With a shoreline longer than America's Pacific coast, Lake Powell is the heart of the huge 1.25-millon-acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Created by the Glen Canyon Dam—a 710-foot wall of concrete in the Colorado River—Lake Powell took 17 years to fill. The second-largest man-made lake in the nation, it extends through terrain so rugged that it was the last major area of the country to be mapped. Red cliffs ring the lake and twist off into 96 major canyons and countless inlets with huge, red-sandstone buttes randomly jutting from the sapphire waters.

The most popular thing to do at Lake Powell is to rent a houseboat and chug leisurely across the lake, exploring coves and inlets. You'll have plenty of company, though, since more than 2 million people visit the lake each year. Fast motorboats, Jet Skis, and sailboats all share the lake. Unless you love crowds and parties, it's best to avoid visiting during Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends. It's also important to check with the National Park Service for current water levels, closures, and other weather-related conditions.

Guided day-tours are available for those who don't want to rent a boat of their own. A popular full-day or half-day excursion sets out from the Bullfrog and Hall's Crossing marinas to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. This is the largest natural bridge in the world, and its 290-foot-high, 275-foot-wide span is a breathtaking sight. The main National Park Service visitor center is at Bullfrog Marina; a gas station, campground, general store, and boat docks are there for supplies, snacks, and chit-chat with locals.

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Park (National/State/Provincial) Free

Quick Facts

Hwy. 276
Lake Powell, Utah  84533, USA

435-684–7420

www.nps.gov/glca

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